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0918-0920 Biscuit Joiner & Sun Mao

digital portfolio of ASC

0918-0920 Biscuit Joiner & Sun Mao

Not a cooking class for biscuits, we continued with the next step of making a table: making cuts and then using biscuit joiner and glue to make our six-piece table top together.

This process reminds me of the joining skills of the traditional Chinese carpentry, 榫卯 (Sun Mao), which does not need glue, biscuit or nail to combine two separate pieces together (as shown below).  This Sun Mao structure is one of the main structure that ancient carpenters use, which could not only maintain the furniture for hundreds of years but also show some artistic skills.  At that time, the cost of building nails is more expensive, creative carpenters create these skills to join pieces together without any glue. 

楔钉榫 (Xie Ding Sun) 
传统粽角榫(Traditional Zong Jiao Sun)
圆香几攒边打槽(Round DaCao)

I am really amazed by carpenters’ understanding of the physical structures and forces and expertise skills. However, as times go by, the costs of building nails and using Sun Mao technique reverse, which lead to the situation that fewer people know this technique and use that in the industry. I hope as I grow more techniques in carpentry, I could have the chance to visit some traditional Chinese carpenters and learn more about this fading but intricate technique. 


榫卯结构,古代中国木匠不用钉子。 Cited from https://www.shejipi.com/64769.html

Tran, V. Sun at Six Uses a Traditional Chinese Joinery Technique to Create Its Opening Collection. Cited from https://design-milk.com/sun-six-uses-traditional-chinese-joinery-technique-create-opening-collection/


One Response

  1. Nell Ruby says:

    THESE ARE BEAUTIFUL! And really beautifully explained (in pictures). I wonder if this is someting you could research and explore. The joins of the Sun Mao technique rely on precision–and skills that are certainly greater than my own, but to which I know you could aspire. I wonder if it is possible for you to somehow apprenctice with a Sun Mao master carpenter and learn this type (and so many other skills) of joinery.

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